10 Days of Dhul Hijjah
As-Salamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
With the Days of Hajj fast approaching I here is a short article about the importance of the First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. InshaAllah it will benefit those who plan to perform the Haj this year and even those who cannot.
Ibn Abbas says about the Qur'anic verse: "Remember Allah during the well known days," (2:203) that it refers to the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. (Sahih Bukhari)
Allah swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "By the dawn; by the 10 nights." (89:1-2)
Ibn Abbas, Ibn Zubair, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: "This is the correct opinion." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413)
Praise be to Allah Who has created time and has made some times better than others, some months and days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy toward His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds and makes them more eager to worship Him, so that the Muslim renews his efforts to gain a greater share of reward, prepares himself for death and supplies himself in readiness for the Day of Judgment.
This season of worship brings many benefits, such as the opportunity to correct one's faults and make up for any shortcomings or anything that one might have missed. Everyone of these special occasions involves some kind of worship through which the slaves may draw closer to Allah, and some kind of blessing though which Allah bestows His favor and mercy upon whomsoever He will. The happy person is the one who makes the most of these special months, days and hours and draws nearer to his Lord during these times through acts of worship; he will most likely be touched by the blessing of Allah and will feel the joy of knowing that he is safe from the flames of Hell. (Ibn Rajab, Al-Lataaif, p. 8)
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah ( Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said: "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these days (meaning the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah)." The companions asked: "O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the way of Allah?" He said: "Not even jihad, except for the man who puts his life and wealth in danger (for Allah’s sake) and return's with neither of them.” (Imams Bukhari, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi and Ibn Majah.)
Ahmad and Tabarani record from Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)
that the Messenger of Allah ( Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said: "There is no day more honorable in Allah's sight and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these 10 days." So say Tahlil (There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah La ilaha illallah), Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest) and Tahmid (Al Hamdulillah: All praise is due to Allah) a lot (on those days)."
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said: "There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Fasting any day during the 10 days it is equivalent to fasting one year and to perform Tahajjud (late-night prayers) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr)." (Imams Tirmizi, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi)
Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that at Mina, the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said: “Do you know what is the day today?" The people replied: "Allah and His Messenger (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) know it better." He said: "It is the forbidden (sacred) day. And do you know what town is this?" They replied: "Allah and His Messenger (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) know it better." He said: "This is the forbidden (sacred) town (Makkah). And do you know which
month is this?" The people replied: "Allah and His Messenger (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) know it better." He said: "This is the forbidden (sacred) month." The Messenger (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) added: "No doubt, Allah made your blood, your properties, and sanctity of this day of yours in this month of yours in this town of yours."
Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: "On the Day of Nahr (10th of Dhul Hijjah), the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) stood in between the Jamrat during his Haj which he performed (as in the previous Hadith) and said: 'This is the greatest Day (i.e. 10th of Dhul Hijjah).' The Messenger
(Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) started saying repeatedly: 'O Allah! Be Witness (I have conveyed Your Message). He then bade the people farewell. The people said: '(This is Hajjatul Wida)."' (Sahih Bukhari)
Fasting Day of Arafat
Abu Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said: "Fasting on the day of Arafat is an expiation for two years', the year preceding it and the year following it. Fasting the day of Ashurah is an expiation for the year preceding it." (Imams Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and Nisaie).
Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: "There are five things that the Messenger (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) never abandoned: fasting the day of Ashurah, fasting the (first) 10 (days of Dhul Hijjah), fasting three days of every month and praying two rakats before the dawn (Fajr) prayers." (Imams Ahmad and Nisaei)
Uqbah Bin Amr (mav Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger or Allah (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) said: "The Day of Arafat, the Day of Sacrifice, and the Days of Tashreeq are Eids for us -- the people of Islam - and they are days of eating and drinking. (Imams Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood and Tirmizi).
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) stated: "The Messenger of Allah (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) forbade fasting on the Day of Arafat for one who is actually at Arafat." (Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Nisaei and Ibn Majah)
Imam Tirmizi comments: "The scholars prefer that the day of Arafat be fasted unless one is actually at Arafat."
It is Sunnah to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar), Tahmid (Al Hamdulillah), Tahlil (La ilaha illallah) and Tasbih (Subhan Allah) during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Almighty Allah. Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
Allah says in the Qur'an: "That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Haj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)..." (22:28) The majority of scholars agree that the "appointed days" are the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father), "The appointed days are the first 10 days (of Dhul Hijjah)."
The Takbir may include the words Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah; wa Allahu Akbar wa Lillahilhamd (Allah is Greatest, Allah is Greatest, there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah; Allah is Greatest and to Allah be praise)," as well as other phrases.
Takbir at this time is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbir, except from a few people. This Takbir should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, reciting Takbir, and the people would recite Takbir when they heard them. The idea behind reminding the people to recite Takbir is that each one should recite it individually, not in unison, as there is no basis in Shariah for doing this.